When is a casual worker not considered ‘casual’?

Recently the Federal Court of Australia upheld an earlier judgment which had held that workers, employed as casuals, were entitled to paid leave.

In doing so, the court found that workers, whose engagement was “regular, certain, continuing, constant and predictable”, were not considered to be casual employees, even though the relevant employment contracts purported to engage the workers as casuals.

The court concluded that, despite the terms of the employment contracts, the workers were not casual employees and were entitled to several entitlements under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) including:

  • paid annual leave
  • payment for public holidays, and
  • paid personal leave.

The decision highlights the importance of making sure that, at the outset, workers are properly engaged. A worker cannot be engaged as a casual employee by simply using the word casual in the employment contract.

For more information and advice regarding your specific circumstances, please contact Director Jon Wiedman on 07 4637 6300.

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